TransCanada, through its wholly owned subsidiary NOVA Gas Transmission Ltd. (NGTL), and ATCO Pipelines have entered into an agreement to exchange ownership of approximately 1,288 km (800 miles) of natural gas pipelines and related facilities in Alberta.
To initiate the asset exchange, in 2009, TransCanada and ATCO Pipelines entered into the Alberta System Integration Agreement, which integrated commercial service on the two pipeline systems and proposed the exchange of pipeline facilities. Since then, TransCanada and ATCO Pipelines have completed a detailed review of their pipeline systems and entered into the Asset Swap Agreement, which identifies the specific pipeline facilities to be exchanged between the two companies. As a result, pipeline facilities being transferred from TransCanada to ATCO Pipelines will shift from the National Energy Board (NEB) regulatory framework to the Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC) regulatory framework that governs the ATCO Pipelines system. Those facilities being transferred to TransCanada from ATCO Pipelines will shift to the NEB, which regulates TransCanada’s Alberta System.
Separate applications were filed by ATCO Pipelines and TransCanada with the AUC and NEB to acquire the necessary approvals for the asset exchange. ATCO Pipelines obtained the necessary approval for the exchange from the AUC on November 22, 2012. TransCanada filed an application to the National Energy Board on November 12, 2013, and obtained the necessary approvals (Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity GC-123 and Amending Order AO-004-GC-113) on December 16, 2014.
Currently, both TransCanada and ATCO Pipelines construct, own and operate pipeline facilities and maintain buildings, equipment and staff in many of the same areas of Alberta. TransCanada and ATCO Pipelines will be exchanging ownership of facilities in certain areas to reduce the overlap of field resources and to achieve operational and cost efficiencies.
The asset exchange will be completed in four phases or “tranches” with the proposed completion in 2016.
Communication to all affected customers will be provided prior to the completion of each tranche. This communication will include notice of the exchange timing along with information of the key TransCanada and ATCO operating personnel who will assume responsibility for the areas of operation.
The asset exchange is of an administrative nature and its effects will be minimal. There will be no new pipeline construction or land disruption; however, routine activities may be carried out on the facilities subject to the asset exchange until the exchange is completed. For example, emergency signage and communications equipment will need to be updated to reflect the change in ownership of the facilities.
Service to customers should be seamless prior to and after the completion of the asset exchange.